The Senate on Sunday denied reports that its Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution has proposed the creation of additional 20 states.
The upper chamber, in a statement by Senator Ajibola Basiru (PhD), Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, said it does not have the power to recommend state creation, going by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
Senator Basiru described the report of the state’s creation as a “gross misrepresentation of the decision of the committee on the request for creation of more states.”
According to him, there are basic requirements that must be followed as outlined in the constitution before states can be created.
He said that although, the Committee received various requests for states creation, such requests were forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for necessary action.
He said: “Far from recommending creation of any state, the Senate Committee, while acknowledging receipts of several Bills proposing creation of new states, decided that it is not in a position to recommend or proposed the creation of any state unless there is compliance with the provisions of section 8 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic as amended.
“For ease of reference, Section 8 of the Constitution provides: An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of creating a new State shall only be passed if..
“A request, supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in each of the following, namely –
“The Senate and the House of Representatives, the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and the local government councils in respect of the area, is received by the National Assembly.
“A proposal for the creation of the State is thereafter approved in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of the people of the area where the demand for creation of the State originated.
“The result of the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of all the States of the Federation supported by a simple majority of members of the Houses of Assembly.
“The proposal is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly.
“In view of the above, the Senate Committee is not in a position to propose creation of any state as reported. Rather the committee decided to refer the requests received to the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure compliance with section 8 of the Constitution by conducting referendum in the areas if the requests are supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in the Senate, the House of Representatives and the House of Assembly in the area.”